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Law Enforcement on Bicycles

Old 04-24-06, 06:18 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by genec
Of the positive things you mentioned, one thing you missed was QUIET. Bike patrols are relatively quiet, which means you can ride right up onto a crime scene before the perps even know it.

A bike cop can be easily hailed by a pedestrian, where as a patrol car or motorcycle both make noise and can obscure a hail.

But yes, you are right, they are only effective in some locations and for some jobs... they are just another tool in the total toolchest against street crime.
Thanks Gene. Don't know how I missed pointing out QUIET. It is important in so many ways.
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Old 04-24-06, 06:53 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Keith99
Thanks Gene. Don't know how I missed pointing out QUIET. It is important in so many ways.
Yeah, nothing like going in blazing lights and sirens for the perpetrators to know who is coming and where they are...

Might seem silly, but "quiet" works well on the bad guys side... nothing like using it for the good guys too. A little element of surprise.
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Old 04-24-06, 07:05 PM
  #53  
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As a road biker , and a cop they are an exellent Pr tool.The public as a whole is less intimidated by us and you get to gain great contacts with the community .The information you gather when "just chatting" is priceless.If needed send a PM and I chat via land line.
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Old 04-24-06, 08:31 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by genec
To answer the original posters question... I think putting cops on bikes is a great idea, it allows police to get to areas that might otherwise be poorly served. It gives them better access to the people on the beat and the advantage of a bike verses foot beat means faster responses and patrols in areas that might otherwise have poor coverage.

I would also like to think that cops on bikes might give the officers a chance to see a cyclist's perspective of traffic, which could lend officers a bit of sympathy to the cyclists' cause.

And in an 8 hour day, again I would be quite surprised if they didn't cover at least 2 miles an hour, to make for a 16 mile day.
Shoot prob more like 25+ with ease and with out even trying. Youd be hard pressed to only do 2 miles of coverage per hour id think. I know the park rangers here who are on bike patrol cover a solid 35 miles or more daily. Remember they are in absolutly no hurry to get any where most of the time.

I know how much distance they cover on the tow path cause ive ridden with them a fair number of times last year. Its hard to ride slower than say 8 to 12 mph and will tire you out faster than riding at at least 8 mph least it is for me on my bike. I guess its because you have to shift your weight and concentrate more on balancing than you do at faster speeds.
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Old 04-25-06, 08:02 AM
  #55  
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I have read the supportive comments, the contrary comments (and rebuttals) and I still don't see the kind of pragmatic, logical reasons why bicycle PD patrols would be superior (or even attractive) to any hard-headed administrator trying to get the maximum coverage from a limited budget. The comments are of a type that would be found on any "special interest" forum if the "special interest" was the mode of coverage. So the same question on a skate-boarder, Equestrian, Segway, roller-blade, or golf cart forum would largely get the same answers; all with rationalizations of the shortcomings and boffo examples of narrowly specific examples of where they would be superior.

Don't get me wrong, I like bikes and I like to bike, and I find biking a superior mode of transportation in many instances, but if a person isn't already predisposed to the notion of bike patrols to start with, I would find nothing here to convince me to spend scarce resources to create and equip a uniformed bike patrol division. Nor do I see a compelling argument to convince either my superiors or the rank and file officer that they should give up the speed and mobility of the motor vehicle for, what, PR and sneaking up on dope dealers under certain circumstances?

The adminstrators will be thinking about 24/7 all-weather-all-season operations with officer (and citizen) injuries due to cycling mishaps, lost or damaged equipment when the officer throws the bike down to do his/her job, training issues for non-riding officers assigned to duties and officer attitude issues for those that didn't envision Police Duty being conducted from the top of kiddie transport (face it). Add to that the fact that an administrator will realize they'll still have to buy/staff a motor vehicle at some ratio to support the bicycle squad because thay can't ****ion autonomously on their own.

Headcount is the PD's biggest problem. If you put 10 LEO's alone in cars they can cover 100 square miles and provide backup to each other within minutes. Put an LEO on a bicycle and you'd be lucky to get him anywhere outside of his beat in under half an hour. Check your own local police forces for staffing and area coverage. I think you will be astonished to find how few LEO's cover vast areas of population.

Of course, if you happen to live in an area that's flush enough with cash that the local PD can afford to commit resources to Segway mounted patrols and still cover their 911 traffic, good for you. I just think that if it was working so well in the general law enforcement community, it wouldn't be such a hard sell.

Good luck in any case.
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Old 04-25-06, 09:16 AM
  #56  
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...nothing here to convince me to spend scarce resources to create and equip a uniformed bike patrol division.
All the answers to your questions could be answered by lea's that use bike patrols. There are plenty of them around the country. The manufacturers are building bikes specifically for law enforcement, there must be a reason. NY city is using more horse patrols because they find them to be effective, maybe they would work in your area.
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Old 04-25-06, 09:24 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by lamajo25
I just want some opinions. What does everyone think of police officers on bikes? I want good opinions as I'm trying to get us some bikes at my department and would like some good feed back. No junk.
We have them here in Toronto and I believe they may be year-round, except if particularly nasty weather hits. Saw one just yesterday. They are very effective here.

Had an interesting situation involving them a year ago when a cop on a motorcycle was hassling those of us participating in a peaceful Critical Mass, demanding we ride in single file. I suggested he give the next three cyclists he sees who are not in single-file tickets as I looked over his shoulder and saw the three bike cops approaching abreast of one another down the middle of the street. Naturally, he declined when I pointed out that his colleagues were in violation and since they weren't responding to an emergency should be cited. He didn't agree, oddly enough. Nor did he respect the city's anti-idling by-law as he ran his engine for a full twenty minutes, seventeen minutes longer than allowable by law.

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Old 04-25-06, 10:27 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Keith99
But this does NOT mean that bikes are 'THE ANSWER'. They are not. In the crowd situation they are best at dealing with things before they are a problem. They are good for arresting the one jerk. But after an arrest they are all but worthless for transporting. They are a poor choice for potential riot situations. For the warehouse district they are the scout. For the actual bust they need support. Bike patrols are not much good for running down any criminal who has made it to his car. In short they are not magic, but they are a very useful part of any police force.
Ever had bikes used 'against' you in a potential riot situation? They are quite effective, I'd say more than ATV's or motorcycles - but obviously less than horses.
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Old 04-25-06, 10:50 AM
  #59  
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Don't forget all the gear they are carrying, plus a bulletproff vest. Police MTB are heavy once you add all the gear. They use are bikes for crowd control and at all the events. There is no faster way to get manpower to wear you need it then on bike when in a crowd. The stealth ability of a bike is an invaluable tool in law enfocement. Also the community relations is huge, bike cops help w/ breakdowns on the path, teach kids the proper way to ride and use equipment, (helmet fitting). As far as expense my community buys through donations from the public or local businesses, they love to help, because they can see a return on their investment.
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Old 04-25-06, 11:13 AM
  #60  
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i do think CX-style bikes w/ internally-geared hubs would be much more functional for police use than the heavy suspended fat-tire bikes they use --

on the other hand...




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Old 04-25-06, 12:06 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by WalterMitty
I have read the supportive comments, the contrary comments (and rebuttals) and I still don't see the kind of pragmatic, logical reasons why bicycle PD patrols would be superior (or even attractive) to any hard-headed administrator trying to get the maximum coverage from a limited budget. The comments are of a type that would be found on any "special interest" forum if the "special interest" was the mode of coverage. So the same question on a skate-boarder, Equestrian, Segway, roller-blade, or golf cart forum would largely get the same answers; all with rationalizations of the shortcomings and boffo examples of narrowly specific examples of where they would be superior.

Don't get me wrong, I like bikes and I like to bike, and I find biking a superior mode of transportation in many instances, but if a person isn't already predisposed to the notion of bike patrols to start with, I would find nothing here to convince me to spend scarce resources to create and equip a uniformed bike patrol division. Nor do I see a compelling argument to convince either my superiors or the rank and file officer that they should give up the speed and mobility of the motor vehicle for, what, PR and sneaking up on dope dealers under certain circumstances?

The adminstrators will be thinking about 24/7 all-weather-all-season operations with officer (and citizen) injuries due to cycling mishaps, lost or damaged equipment when the officer throws the bike down to do his/her job, training issues for non-riding officers assigned to duties and officer attitude issues for those that didn't envision Police Duty being conducted from the top of kiddie transport (face it). Add to that the fact that an administrator will realize they'll still have to buy/staff a motor vehicle at some ratio to support the bicycle squad because thay can't ****ion autonomously on their own.

Headcount is the PD's biggest problem. If you put 10 LEO's alone in cars they can cover 100 square miles and provide backup to each other within minutes. Put an LEO on a bicycle and you'd be lucky to get him anywhere outside of his beat in under half an hour. Check your own local police forces for staffing and area coverage. I think you will be astonished to find how few LEO's cover vast areas of population.

Of course, if you happen to live in an area that's flush enough with cash that the local PD can afford to commit resources to Segway mounted patrols and still cover their 911 traffic, good for you. I just think that if it was working so well in the general law enforcement community, it wouldn't be such a hard sell.

Good luck in any case.

It seems to me that you either have not read many of the posts here or are deliberatly being dense. So here it is in one sentence.

Anywhere where foot patrols are appropriate bikes may also be appropriate and in many cases allow an officer to cover far greater territory while staying accessable to the general public.
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Old 04-25-06, 12:10 PM
  #62  
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I ran into a police officer on a bicycle on a local bike path. He smiled and said hello as I pedalled home.

Made me feel more comfortable given some of the folk that I sometimes see on the bike path.

(I often wonder, though, how hot it gets on a bike wearing a dark blue uniform?)
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Old 04-25-06, 01:11 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Keith99
It seems to me that you either have not read many of the posts here or are deliberatly being dense. So here it is in one sentence.

Anywhere where foot patrols are appropriate bikes may also be appropriate and in many cases allow an officer to cover far greater territory while staying accessable to the general public.
Developing support for replacing foot patrols with bike patrols was not specified in the OP's question and was not related to the issue I have raised.

Perhaps density is in the eye of the beholder. How's that for one sentence?

It sounds to me like you just don't like an opposing viewpoint when almost everybody here agrees "bikes are good!" So, since you can't rebut the point I was actually making (if *you* read the posts) you try to make the point that bike patrols would be as good as or better than foot patrols. Well, that might make an interesting thread, why don't you start one up?

In the meantime, if anyone is seriously interested in helping the OP, he's probably competing for resources against motor-vehicle patrols, not foot-patrols. I don't know that for a fact of course, the OP would have to clear that up. But Payson AZ is not an urban community by any stretch of the imagination (pop~15,000). I would be surprised to find they have 50 people in their PD altogether. My next wild-assed guess is that they have 5-6 officers driving around in cars (fewer during dark shifts) and only have foot patrols during the annual mullet festival (or whatever the big annual fair deal is).

Staying on the "WAG" theme, if he's here posting for ideas he's an enthusiast already (he doesn't have to be convinced) and he's already been turned down or has gotten vibes from some feelers he put out that he needs a good case. If the testimony here that "it looks good" and "it feels good" oh, and it's "as good as or better than foot patrols" is enough, then there's no problem.

But if that's all bike patrols have going for them, they will remain a rarity and an exception for most of the population. It's a simple matter of economic efficiency for the critical resource; which is the LEO. I'm not saying there aren't specific exceptions, but a few exceptions don't disprove the general rule.

I still say Good Luck to the OP.
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Old 04-25-06, 06:37 PM
  #64  
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Our local department just implemented a bike patrol program. Four Deputies went through an approved 4 day IPMBA course. The bikes, (ten year old Treks) were hand me downs donated by a local university police force. Ten year old Treks are still nicer than most bikes owned by the typical non cyclist. During the summer months, school resouce officers will be replacing the bike patrol cops so that the bike cops cand work a dedicated bike patrol shift. Once the bike cops return to regular shift, they can limit the patrol areas to a 1/2 mile radius of their cars before moving on to another area. This gives them an effective response time of 1-2 minutes to their patrol cars. Considering that they would be responding from within their zones this would be a very accepitable response time. Bike Cops have vastly different goals than typical cyclist but there was a time I didn't consider mountain bikers as cyclist either. I also know from experience that the only people on foot who are seen by someone in a car are the ones who either want to be seen or don't care. Bikes would excel at stealthy approaches.
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Old 04-25-06, 06:48 PM
  #65  
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To clear up some things for everyone. I'm not replacing anything like foot patrol, milage, or anything else. We are trying to start up a bike patrol at our department. We are in a small town and have some difficult terrain here and there. My intentions are to get like many people say, get closer contact with public, sneak up on people, and do get some exercise. I came here to see if I could get some opinions or interaction stories from people.

Mountain bikes are the bikes of choice for law enforcement. Not road bikes that have the speed. No matter how you look at it road bikes aren't designed for law enforcment. Reason being you can't get to the bad guys that are in the bushes or running down the dirt hill, or through the school campus where the stairs are. Mountain bikes are absolutely not designed for speeding to calls either. I'll give you some good examples as to where they are very effective. Stating the obvious, they are quiet. I drive a 1995 Ford Crown Victoria, it's old, loud, and very marked. Mountain bikes, I can hide in the dark, in small corners, behind bushes, and get into places that I can't with my patrol car more so without being seen or heard. Stories from officers have told me that they have snuck up on people with their bike that have been smoking dope, underage drinking, and graffiti problems.

Secondly, the milage on a bike cannot be compared with milage in a car. I put about 100 to 120 miles on my patrol car a night. Whereas a mountian bike I'm going to be restricted. Our purpose, as we will not be able to do a full bike patrol squad like Las Vegas Metro, is to be able to transport our bikes on our patrol cars and to be able to get out of our car and interact with public or move around quietly. We will be restricted to a certain distance from our cars as we will still have to respond to calls. In our department I may potentially be able to ride 5 to 8 miles a day if that. On weekends where we have double coverage that's different. I may be able to spend my day on the bike.

Thirdly, the bike will have our necessities. First off a saddle bag or rear bag. It will carry things like paperwork that we may need, a citation book (obviously), and or anything else necessary. Our gear on our person will still consist of the same things. Regular duty belt, uniform, bike helmet, and radio. The gear is restrictive in nature in the first place, especially that vest. That's restrictive in a patrol car or on foot. The bike will be an extra tool just like our duty gear. Something to get out of the car and do something different to get closer to our beats and our public.

As for some of the comments towards experience. I will admit some of the officers probably haven't ridden a bike since childhood. We have to go through a 40 hour class to include a physical exercise and qualification, along with yearly qualifications. Same as with our guns, tasers, and any other tool we use we will have periodic training and or qualifications. It's not going to be a response vehicle just a tool we can use. There are many uses for them and we will have to be trained. I've seen some of the officers that come out of these classes. Yearly IPMBA has a competition amongst agencies that have bike patrol officers and have the man power to send people. It's a good old fashioned mountian bike race. With a bit of flare. The flare being, taking down suspects with their bikes, manuevering obstacles (stairs, parking lots, alley ways, you get the point) and doing the regular mountain bike racing. These guys are just as much of a biker as the guy that started mountain bike racing in general. In all actuallity I'm pretty sure they are the ones that designed the program.

I came here for some opinions as to experiences, and thoughts about LE on bikes. I know I put some pretty harsh terms in there like "No Junk." Reason being I've asked questions before and got bad responses, or off course, as it happened here several times. I put "Quit Hating on Cops" in my signature as there have been several times that people here have put derogatory remarks because the cop isn't doing the right thing. I've tried to get some to realize those things and some are set in their ways. Thank you to all who have given me some really good information. I may or may not use it as information or stories in a presentation in the department.
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Old 04-25-06, 09:07 PM
  #66  
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Stories from officers have told me that they have snuck up on people with their bike that have been smoking dope, underage drinking, and graffiti problems.
Oooh, I didn't even think of graffiti. If graffiti could be reduced, I think most voters/taxpayers would welcome a bike patrol. That is such a big livability issue, whether in big city, suburb, or small town. I'm sure your PD never hears the end of those kinds of complaints. I wish you well in getting this going for your community.
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Old 04-25-06, 11:07 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by lamajo25
I came here for some opinions as to experiences, and thoughts about LE on bikes. I know I put some pretty harsh terms in there like "No Junk." Reason being I've asked questions before and got bad responses, or off course, as it happened here several times. I put "Quit Hating on Cops" in my signature as there have been several times that people here have put derogatory remarks because the cop isn't doing the right thing. I've tried to get some to realize those things and some are set in their ways. Thank you to all who have given me some really good information. I may or may not use it as information or stories in a presentation in the department.
I don't hate cops, I hate people who come on an internet forum and act like the rest of us are only here to provide you with information you can use for your own purposes. Maybe one reason you got "bad responses, or off course" is because you misrepresent yourself by pretending to be a member of an online community, when really youre here only for your own gain.

Or maybe you can't handle diversity of opinion, and you become overly defensive when others see things differently than you do. We have had experiences that are different than yours. Some of us may even lean closer to the "criminal side" than to the "cop side." This could have been a chance for you to learn a new perspective. But evidently you didn't want a new perspective, even though you claimed in the OP that you did. You really wanted support for your old perspective.

Also, this could have been a chance for you to provide us with a new perspective. I sure am interested in hearing how the world looks to a cop, and I can empathise with anybody who's trying to convince his boss to try a new program. I'm glad that you finally did tell us some of these things, but you waited so long into the thread that I got very frustrated with the whole experience.

I spent some of my time writing a thoughtful answer to the question I thought you were asking. But you had apparently already decided that any idea that didn't fit your opinion, which you had actually concealed in your OP, was JUNK. So I wasted my time, and so did all the others who genuinely believed that they were providing you with information you wanted. In return, we only wanted information from you, but you have provided nothing like that either until two days into the thread.
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Old 04-26-06, 12:54 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by WalterMitty
Developing support for replacing foot patrols with bike patrols was not specified in the OP's question and was not related to the issue I have raised.

Perhaps density is in the eye of the beholder. How's that for one sentence?

It sounds to me like you just don't like an opposing viewpoint when almost everybody here agrees "bikes are good!" So, since you can't rebut the point I was actually making (if *you* read the posts) you try to make the point that bike patrols would be as good as or better than foot patrols. Well, that might make an interesting thread, why don't you start one up?

In the meantime, if anyone is seriously interested in helping the OP, he's probably competing for resources against motor-vehicle patrols, not foot-patrols. I don't know that for a fact of course, the OP would have to clear that up. But Payson AZ is not an urban community by any stretch of the imagination (pop~15,000). I would be surprised to find they have 50 people in their PD altogether. My next wild-assed guess is that they have 5-6 officers driving around in cars (fewer during dark shifts) and only have foot patrols during the annual mullet festival (or whatever the big annual fair deal is).

Staying on the "WAG" theme, if he's here posting for ideas he's an enthusiast already (he doesn't have to be convinced) and he's already been turned down or has gotten vibes from some feelers he put out that he needs a good case. If the testimony here that "it looks good" and "it feels good" oh, and it's "as good as or better than foot patrols" is enough, then there's no problem.

But if that's all bike patrols have going for them, they will remain a rarity and an exception for most of the population. It's a simple matter of economic efficiency for the critical resource; which is the LEO. I'm not saying there aren't specific exceptions, but a few exceptions don't disprove the general rule.

I still say Good Luck to the OP.
D@mn someone who does some research. You've 95% sold me that he has a real problem selling bike patrols and with good reason. Only ~15,000 in Arizona would tend to mean spread out. That is car country. The only way I can see bike patrols getting sold is to model it after many of the Horse patrols. Officers provide the bikes and the patrol is for 'special' circumstances. Special meaning any big events, possible search and rescue and perhaps for part of the year patrols in parks. In that small a department if there is some patrol/shift that everyone tries to avoid but some officers would actually like if they could do it on bikes might sell. BUT there has to be such a patrol and it has to work for bikes, e.g. if it is the cover the wide open spaces a car can cover 5 times the ground and be better suited if there is trouble, so bikes wont work let alone sell.
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Old 04-26-06, 02:36 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Roody
Or maybe you can't handle diversity of opinion, and you become overly defensive when others see things differently than you do. We have had experiences that are different than yours. Some of us may even lean closer to the "criminal side" than to the "cop side." This could have been a chance for you to learn a new perspective. But evidently you didn't want a new perspective, even though you claimed in the OP that you did. You really wanted support for your old perspective.
Hah, I probably lean closer to the 'criminal side' myself, but if you think that most cops don't understand 'that perspective,' you are quite mistaken.
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Old 04-26-06, 03:26 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Keith99
D@mn someone who does some research. You've 95% sold me that he has a real problem selling bike patrols and with good reason. Only ~15,000 in Arizona would tend to mean spread out. That is car country. The only way I can see bike patrols getting sold is to model it after many of the Horse patrols. Officers provide the bikes and the patrol is for 'special' circumstances. Special meaning any big events, possible search and rescue and perhaps for part of the year patrols in parks. In that small a department if there is some patrol/shift that everyone tries to avoid but some officers would actually like if they could do it on bikes might sell. BUT there has to be such a patrol and it has to work for bikes, e.g. if it is the cover the wide open spaces a car can cover 5 times the ground and be better suited if there is trouble, so bikes wont work let alone sell.
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Old 04-26-06, 03:46 PM
  #71  
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lamajo, I think that lots of people have already spoken about the benefits of community interaction and quiet. With fewer parts on them and fewer miles spent each day, bikes may be noticeably cheaper than automobiles for the department. I doubt that bikes will be used to replace autos in your department, but every patrol mile put in on a bike is one less than in a cruiser. Actually, it's probably multiple miles less that you're putting in on that cruiser, because the bike is slower. If you have to "patrol" for 2 hours either in a car or on a bike, you'll probably wind up putting more miles on the car in the same amount of time, just to keep going around. The excercise angle rocks; I'm sure that your departments health insurance company would love it, and may reward your department or individuals financially (lower premiums? Discounts on bikes/equipment?). Honestly though, if implemented I imagine that the fitness-minded officers will be the ones to volunteer for bike duty, and the chubby ones (if your department has any) will avoid them like the plague.

Depending on how far you want to take it, and how important community interaction is to your department, the bike cops in your town can actually become advocates for bicycling effectively and safely. A bike cop is a friendlier face than one in a cruiser, and I have NO objections to the law enforcement officials getting more of a feel for the issues and dangers that cyclists are subject to.
Free bicycling workshops, anyone? If they're going on in your town, it sure wouldn't hurt the image of your department to have officers involved with teaching about bike safety/maintenance/law.

Best of luck with your endeavors. The more people on bikes the better, I say. Cops most definitely included.
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Old 04-26-06, 05:36 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by lamajo25
I just want some opinions. What does everyone think of police officers on bikes? I want good opinions as I'm trying to get us some bikes at my department and would like some good feed back. No junk.
I personally think it's a great idea! Better mobility than a foot patrol and publically percieved as a cost effective solution in these high fuel cost times! They can dance in the DT area with the best. I'd recommend it heartily!
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Old 04-26-06, 05:48 PM
  #73  
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Have you seen this site?
http://www.leba.org/
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Old 04-27-06, 03:41 AM
  #74  
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Cops On Bikes

My name is Allan Howard. I was Chairmain of the International Police Mountain Bike Association for six terms. As one of the founders (a former bike cop and USCF/NORBA racer) I was lucky to be involved in the police cycling movement in it's modern infancy. I say modern infancy because cops on bikes is really nothing new. It was commonplace in the 1800s but fell out of favor when automobiles came into everyday use.

As someone who made their living as a bike cop I can say that there are more than a few benefits to cops on bikes. The biggest benefit is that you can regulate crime in areas that are largely inaccessable to vehicular traffic and are more acccessable to the public. There are other benefits as well, some of which are purely law enforcement related and some that are cyclist related.

I won't bore you with all of them but I will suggest you borrow a copy of "The Complete Police Cyclist" or "Police Cycling", a book I co-authored some years ago. I do not get any money from the books sales as I signed them over to IPMBA in hopes of keeping the organization solvent for many years to come.

But back to the cycling benefits. Cops on bikes are daily visual reminder that bikes are a tool, not a toy and that bikes have a legal right to the roadway. I have personally been breezed by drivers who were unaware that I was an officer, stopped or had them stopped, and issued them tickets and or arrested them if the situation warranted it (ie warrant for their arrest or no drivers license).

True, many officers are porkers and they sometimes look like Russian bears riding bikes at the circus. But IPMBA has a stringent training program (I co-wrote) that is second to none. I specifically created training that I know the "average" cyclist could not complete in an untrained state. At the very least cops on bikes are an advocate for a cyclist who has been wronged by a car driver as they know the law and have that same feeling of being vulnerable to traffic.

Officers can and do ride on the sidewalk and in my hometown the law was changed to allow this. The reason is two fold. One, it makes no sense to take any route that is not the most direct when responding to a call. Two, during regular patrol it becomes neccessary to ride on the sidewalks (especially in dowtown areas with one way streets) so you can follow the flow of criminals. Most of the time purse grabbers and car break in guys will walk the sidewalks on one way streets against the flow of vehicular traffic because it makes it hard for an officer in a car to follow them.

There are many benefits to the whole cops on bikes thing and I won't bore you with all of it so I'll leave the officers that are lurking here this bit of information.

Don't be offended when a citizen says "I wish all I had to do was ride a bike all day (drink coffee, sit around etc)". For the last 24.5 years you and I have provided them with a blanket of protection that allows them the luxury of blissfull ignorance. Ignorance of how vicious and hurtful some people can be. It's really a testament to the good job you're doing, and remember, nobody promised you that people were going to thank you everyday, they just promised you'd be paid.

But more than anything else, remember that it is you and I that provide and protect an American's right to not like the police and to be able to say they don't without fear of being beaten or killed. When someone says "I hate all you cops" I smile because I know I provided them that right.

The IPMBA International Conference will be held in Dayton, Ohio in May 2006. Check out the IPMBA website for any additional info on cops on bikes and support ANY effort to get police officers on bike in your area.

Ride safe
Allan
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Old 04-27-06, 06:41 AM
  #75  
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Police cyclists test hidden cameras




Police on patrol in the West Midlands are roadtesting cameras in their cycle helmets to capture crimes on film.

Officers on bicycles in Birmingham will record evidence of street crimes on the small head-mounted closed circuit television cameras during the trial period.

They hope the new technology will prevent street crime and burglary.

The equipment will be tested on patrols around the streets of Handsworth and Lozells over the next few weeks.


LInk:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/2250618.stm
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